Jesse is a young Guanano man, a believer who struggles with an addiction to alcohol. As a new believer, Jesse had expressed the desire for change in his life, a desire to make a break from a destructive lifestyle and be transformed by God’s work in his life.
And for a while, Jesse studied the Word of God consistently and met to fellowship with believers and be strengthened and encouraged in his walk with Christ.
But pulling away from his old lifestyle was hard, missionary Lindy Drake shares. So many months had passed since Jesse had come to study the Bible with his brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Then, this past Sunday, he came and stood up before believers and asked their forgiveness,” Lindy says.
And they listened while Jesse shared a story.
“He said a man had recently come up to him and given him a picture of a watch,” Lindy writes. “The man asked him, ‘If you had a house or a car or an outboard motor, would you trade it for this watch?’ Jesse answered, ‘Of course not.’ The man replied, ‘Then you would be the loser. This watch recently sold for $900,000.’”
Lindy explains that the man then confronted Jesse, saying, “You say you are a Christian, but you are hanging on to your sinful lifestyle. You think it is worth more than the riches God has for you. You are the loser.”
Lindy observes that the simple words were powerfully used by God’s Spirit in Jesse’s life. A desire to return to the church fellowship and the study of God’s Word was born in Jesse’s heart and he humbly returned to share the story with the Guanano church and ask his brothers and sisters in Christ to forgive him.
In the church, there are other Guanano believers who once struggled with the hold of alcohol addiction and have been freed dramatically by the power of Christ to walk in triumph and joy. Jesse will be embraced in love and empathy as he grows in his understanding of the grace of God.
“Depending on Christ’s life to free him from the habit of constant drunkenness is just one step in spiritual maturity,” Lindy points out. “But it has been the step that has kept him from those next steps.”
Pray for Jesse as he begins again to grow in Christ. Pray that God will encourage him mightily. Pray that he will indeed find that what he was missing in God’s Word and fellowship with God’s people is infinitely more valuable than the things he was holding on to. Pray that love and nurture will abound in the hearts of Guanano believers to welcome him into a life of freedom and joy in Christ.